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When you first visited SF, everything was charming: the tourists looking for seals at Pier 39, the hipsters biking around the Mission, even the panhandlers in Haight-Ashbury.

Here’s the good news: You can re-create that feeling anytime you want, just by streaming one of these classic flicks.

We rounded up nine iconic movies that will no doubt(fire) reignite your love affair with San Francisco.


“Mrs. Doubtfire”

This one’s a double whammy: gorgeous city scenery and the late, great Robin Williams. There’s nothing more heartwarming (or hilarious) than seeing Williams run from apartment to classic Victorian and back again to fulfill his duties as the most beloved babysitter of all time.


“The Pursuit of Happyness”

Will Smith breaks from his usual character to play a homeless salesman struggling to settle his debts and provide a better life for his son (played by Smith’s real-life son, Jaden). We see a different side of SF here--the true grit of the Tenderloin and BART trains--juxtaposed with a hopeful panorama of the city in the final scene.


“Blue Jasmine”

Woody Allen finally turns his lens from Manhattan to San Francisco in this drama about a Manhattan socialite, played by the stunning Cate Blanchett, who falls on hard times and has to move in with her barely-scraping-by sister in a cramped apartment. The story may be sad, but the portraits of South Park, the Mission, swanky Pacific Heights homes and city views from across the bay are wonderful.


“So I Married an Axe Murderer”

This quirky rom-com thriller stars Mike Myers as a beat poet in San Francisco who marries a could-be serial killer. The movie has little to do with the city, but we love those scenes of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill.


“The Wedding Planner”

J.Lo plays a San Francisco wedding planner in this super-cheesy but endearing rom-com, where spots like the Presidio, City Hall, Lincoln Park Golf Club and the Legion of Honor take center stage. Also, Matthew McConaughey.



This one--about gay-rights activist and politician Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn)--makes you fall as seriously for SF’s longstanding commitment to change as it does for the loud-and-proud Castro community.


“Four Christmases”

Ah, SFO. The airport makes a cameo in this holiday favorite with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, who play a well-to-do SF couple trying to escape their families for the holidays.


“The Net”

A mid-’90s cyber action thriller in which Sandra Bullock’s character saves California from cyberterrorists at Cathedral Software in SF. Enough said.


“Harold and Maude”

This ’70s-era dark comedy about the loving relationship between a 20-year-old boy and a 79-year-old woman may sound creepy at first, but in the end, it’s a touching classic. It was filmed all over the Bay Area (Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno and Mori Point in Pacifica), including a scene at the haunting Sutro Baths.

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